What the Hell Happened to Eddie Murphy?

By this point in the “What the Hell Happened?” series, a pattern has developed.  The career usually begins with TV roles or modeling gigs.  Then a big break, super stardom and a stint on the A-list.

Sometimes the celebrity rides on the top of the a-list for years.  Other times, they come crashing down relatively quickly.  Eventually, their time in the spotlight ends.  Sometimes they flame out in a spectacularly public fashion.  Other times, they just walk away.

Eddie Murphy’s story breaks from the formula.  Sure, there is a rise and fall.  But in Murphy’s case, there’s not just one.

Murphy rose to superstardom, slipped into irrelevance, reinvented himself as a family friendly leading man, had a scandal, dropped into obscurity, and then threatened to stage a come back multiple times without ever actually coming back.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to tackle Murphy as soon as possible.  He was dangerously close to a come back as recently as a few months ago.  Word of mouth on Tower Heights was that it would reignite Murphy’s career.  His friend, Tower Heights director Bret Ratner, hired him to host the Academy Awards.  Murphy was poised for a comeback.

Then Tower Heights disappointed at the box office, Ratner quit the Academy Awards show in scandal and Murphy quietly excused himself.  The come back was cancelled.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning of the story.

Murphy started performing as a stand-up comedian as a teenager.  At 17, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live.

In the early 80s, SNL was in its first real slump.  It was actually facing the possibility of cancellation.  Murphy and co-star Joe Piscopo were the sole stand-outs of the cast and arguably saved the show.

While Murphy was still on SNL, he made his feature film debut in 1982’s 48 Hours.

I don’t think the impact of 48 Hours can be over-stated.  It wasn’t just a smash hit.  It practically invented a genre that would dominate the film landscape for the next decade.  The buddy cop movie began with Nolte and Murphy in 48 Hours.

Murphy was already a star on TV.  But 48 Hours made him a movie star.  The Golden Globes named Murphy the New Star of the Year.

murphy trading places

The following year, Murphy teamed with SNL alumn Dan Aykroyd in Trading PlacesTrading Places was directed by John Landis who would work with Murphy two more times.  The rich man/poor man comedy was an even greater hit than 48 Hours.

Murphy was 2 for 2 in Hollywood and was still a star on TV.  He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for Trading Places.  Plus he had a hit stand-up comedy special in Eddie Murphy: Delirious that same year.

Ghostbusters was originally written with Eddie Murphy and John Belushi in mind.

Murphy’s career was hot.  He wasn’t just a rising star.  He was shooting straight to the top.  Following Trading Places, Dan Aykroyd actually wrote a part in Ghostbusters specifically for Murphy.  Murphy was unable to work it into his schedule due to his commitment to Beverly Hills Cop, so the part went to Ernie Hudson instead.

In 1984, Murphy made his first misstep.  He appeared in the notorious turkey, Best Defense.

Test screenings for the Dudley Moore comedy were so horrible that the studio created Murphy’s part after the fact.  The movie was then marketed as an Eddie Murphy movie despite the fact his role is a glorified cameo.  He’s even credited as a “strategic guest star”.

When he hosted SNL later that year, Murphy joked about the failure of Best Defense and how he thought it might have killed his movie career.  He jokingly admitted to making Best Defense for the money.

Eddie-Murphy-in-Beverly-Hills-Cop

Later that year, Murphy rebounded with Beverly Hills Cop.

Beverly Hills Cop was the movie that made Murphy a star.  Up until this point, Murphy was a rising star.  But Beverly Hills Cop cemented his A-list status with authority.  It also nabbed him another Golden Globe nomination.

Before Murphy signed on to star in Beverly Hills Cop, Sylvester Stallone was attached to the project.  Stallone famously walked off Beverly Hills Cop because he was uncomfortable the comedy.

When Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop was a huge action-comedy hit, Stallone responded with his version of the movie.

Stallone’s Cobra was only unintentionally funny.  It highlighted the changing tides as Murphy eclipsed Stallone on the A-list.

How big was Murphy after Beverly Hills Cop?  Big enough that he was allowed to start a recording career.  Big enough that Rick James produced his record.  And big enough that his single, Party All the Time, was actually a hit in spite of sounding like this:

Party All the Time has to embrass Murphy today.  It qualifies him for one-hit wonder status.  But it also speaks to just how big of a star he was at the time.  They don’t let you make a vanity record unless you’re a superstar.

Next: Coming to America and Sequels

Posted on January 31, 2012, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 180 Comments.

  1. Looks like the new beverly hills cop film is back on track…

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=107117

    Like

    • As always with this kind of news, I’ll believe it when it happens.

      Like

    • I’ve been reading suggestions on this particular message board that the third “BHC” movie marked the beginning of Eddie Murphy’s career decline (I personally think that “Harlem Nights” was, but whom am I to judge):

      http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?t=258943

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      • BHC 3 signified that Murphy had crossed a line where his audience wouldn’t even follow him into familiar territory. Even Another 48 Hours did pretty well. By the time he made BHC 3, audiences stopped caring every bit as much as Murphy did.

        I’m frankly amazed he came back from that. He had one of the most remarkable comebacks of the decade.

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        • Eddie Murphy (I) : When did Eddie go down hill?

          http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000552/board/flat/199027204?p=1

          by
          mcdkenny» Mon May 14 2012 07:57:34

          I have a theory that his career went down hill after he stopped doing his ‘laugh’ in films. In his yearly films he does it (Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop) but stopped doing it in films like (Norbit, Meet Dave). Might just be a coincidence and the fact that these films might have been badly written, directed and ill conceived. Just wondering if anyone agreed or had other theories.

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          ediaz8» Fri Aug 31 2012 07:45:14

          I would have to say that his career went downhill from the release of 1996’s “The Nutty Professor” onwards. I was dissapointed with 1999’s “Bowfinger” because I thought that pairing him with Steve Martin would have brought back a classic Eddie but it failed royally despite having some moderate success at the box office. Overall, every film he made after “Nutty” was mediocre. He said that he went to making kids oriented films because it was what his kids could watch. His kids are now in their late teens and hasn’t made an effort to be back to the comedy that made him famous. I liked “Tower Heist” a lot as it brought back an Eddie that was close to his 80’s form and I thought after watching it that this could be a prelude to more films like it but it hasn’t beared fruit.

          by
          A-zone» Thu Sep 13 2012 21:36:26

          I agree with “ediaz8″. “The Nutty Professor” and everything after it was either mediocre or plain awful. The only exception was “Dreamgirls” in which he gave a great performance, proving that he can indeed act. I think he needs to do two things to put his career back on track:

          1. Stop doing stupid “kid-family-funny” movies (which ironically are not funny nor are they liked by kids) and start doing some serious roles. Many other comedians like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey have done a variety of different roles including very dark and villainous ones. Eddie’s comedy has sadly become stale. I think he would make a great villain.
          2. Get rid of his ego. Sure he was a big star back in the 80’s and commanded an exorbitant salary but not anymore. He should stop doing movies where he is the main lead (as well as 5 other characters!) and be willing to accept smaller but meaningful roles.

          I still believe that there’s a lot of “entertainment juice” left in this machine called Eddie Murphy but he’s wasting it in the wrong roles.

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          sjmcollins-1» Tue Jan 15 2013 12:28:21

          The last great thing Eddie did was Coming To America in 1988. After that he tried (way too hard) to reinvent himself as a Don Juan romantic lead in Harlem Nights and Boomerang. Then something just seemed to die in him, and he appears to have no interest whatsoever in reviving it. It’s sad, really, because for a 8-10 year stretch he was THE man.

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          ragusa11» Sat May 4 2013 15:52:30

          The start of losing his touch was Another 48 Hours. He had a series of bad movies before he reinvented himself as a family entertainer. It happens to all comedians. Robin Williams was hot and then all of a sudden all of his movies sucked.

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          moviesrme10» Sat Jul 27 2013 07:06:56

          Eddie went down hill after The Adventures of Pluto Nash but he still kept it going steady after his first real miss. The real damage started with 2007’s Norbit, which bombed at the box office and got horrid reviews. Then we got bomb after bomb with Meet Dave, Imagine That, and the big blow was 2012’s A Thousand Words, which got 0%rating on Rotten Tomatoes, no one liked it and no one saw it, it bombed. That’s it, his career is over.

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          Volken» Fri Aug 2 2013 12:53:05

          If you remember early 90’s fashion of “intellectual posing” among many stars. Many like Sly, for example, suddenly wore glasses and insisted on the most refined presence, whenever they went public. Remember Madonna’s intellectual posing from her documentary. Sadly, this trend did not missed Eddie. He started also nobility presentations, sometimes, to such extent, that TV channels had a great fun, making them look funny while doing interviews.

          Anyone remembers the most ridiculous interview with Arsenio, where Murphy is drinking from a miniature golden glass? Holding the same just for sake of holding, because it was barely fitted for a parakee. He desperately wanted to be noble and refined, it was really embarrassing to watch.

          And yes, as much I loved watching Eddie in BH 1,2 and many great movies until Boomerang. Suddenly he was no longer hungry, and changed his signature acting. Like many others, he was too aware of himself and constantly flirting with camera. From that moment, his acting was not interesting for my taste, and hate to say, quality of his movies, never followed any originality in story or realization.

          I guess, there was a glimpse of something in Metro (1997), but, just a glimpse.

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          Thunder_Dome» Fri Aug 23 2013 12:13:19

          I’ve never seen Metro but from trailers and clips it seems like it was the last time he played a normal person (except Dreamgirls) and everything afterwards were caricatures. Look at movies like Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours/Another 48 Hours and he’s playing a normal guy that happens to be very funny.

          But ever since then he acts differently, like over-the-top gestures, etc. And yeah, him not doing the laugh anymore is just weird.

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          T-Faz» Sun Oct 20 2013 13:26:15

          When his ego went through the roof around Coming To America time. John Landis commented on the change in his personality from Beverly Hills Cop. After that, all his films become boring and lacked the charm he had showed in the early 80’s. This is until he reinvented himself as a family friendly entertainer in the mid 90’s.

          by
          Volken» Sun Oct 20 2013 17:27:28

          You are right about finding the second exit as family entertainment. Without it, I doubt he would path any success in box office. I’m sure Landis speaks firsthand, observing his working environment with degree of intimacy we could never learn at that time. But “Coming to America” had all ingredients to make Eddie confident performer. Starting from great cast to SNL territory where Eddie (at the time) always performed his best. Since you mention this, Yes, he was a bit different in suited “noble” remark, at the very beginning in his kingdom. But, he was still available in the rest of the movie and we didn’t suffer from this.

          Try to watch Boomerang again. There, for the very first time, I’ve asked myself : Eddie, why you changed so much?

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          T-Faz» Tue Nov 5 2013 04:55:3

          by
          T-Faz» Tue Nov 5 2013 04:55:35

          Boomerang isn’t a bad movie but the lead character is so unlikable. Eddie Murphy transformed into an arrogant, conceited and egotistical person by that time. The characters he played also reflected this.

          Had he remained the way he was, he could have continued to deliver great films.

          by
          shihab1» Mon Jan 13 2014 11:47:38

          It was over after Distinguished Gentleman. Something changed in his appearance, his acting became much more mannered( like the previous poster said, wild eyes, manic movements, phony caricatures) he seemed to lose that aura of infallible confidence that made him famous in the first place. It was his composure that made him so funny and marked him out as different; after this film it was gone.

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          I_Guard_Tanelorn» Mon Feb 3 2014 14:40:41

          The 90s and Eddie just didn’t get along. It happens, but I think he was still putting solid work out. I still think the 1st Nutty Professor is pretty damned funny. Certainly on par with any Sandler or Myers movies.

          It all started going sideways with Dr. Dolittle. There was a subtle shift in Murphy’s role in his movies where he went from making the jokes (BHC, Golden Child), to being in on the joke (Bowingfinger, I Spy), to becoming the butt of the jokes (Daddy Day Care, Norbit).

          If you wanna stay on top, you gotta be the one making the jokes.

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  2. Eddie Murphys Career Highs and Lows:

    http://www.entertainmentscene360.com/index.php/eddie-murphys-career-highs-and-lows-2870/

    In the 1980s, there was simply no stopping Eddie Murphy. As the star of Beverley Hills Cop, his fame seemed to know no bounds. He went on to star in two sequels which, although perhaps not quite so popular, still did phenomenally well at the box office. He also went on to star in other hit films such as Golden Child and Coming to America.

    Skipping forward to the end of the 1990s, however, his star began to fade. He still continued to work regularly, but the films simply didn’t command the same audiences as before. His typical slapstick style of comedy was neither as fresh as before, nor was it as original. He had the occasional return to form, such as his vocal performance as the donkey in Shrek, but that wasn’t enough. There were plenty of new faces waiting in the wings and they were attracting a new generation of fans who didn’t really rate Murphy.

    Personal problems also made people see him in a different light. He divorced from wife Nicole in 2006 and shortly afterwards showed a rather unpleasant side to his personality following a relationship with former Spice Girl Mel B. When she discovered she was pregnant, Murphy denied outright that he was the father and refused to pay for child support, until Mel B was forced to organised a paternity test to prove her daughter was his. The test proved that he was, after all, the father.

    Now in 2012, it is perhaps no surprise that Murphy has just been named as the most overpaid actor in Hollywood by Forbes magazine. According to their figures, for every dollar that Murphy made in the box office, he only made back $2.30. However, compared with Drew Barrymore, who made back just 40 cents for every dollar she earned in 2011, Murphy’s figure is actually quite respectable. Barrymore apparently doesn’t qualify for this year’s list because she hasn’t had starring roles in three ‘wide-released films’ over the last three years, probably due to her family commitments.

    There are a few other big names just behind Murphy in the Forbes list. At number two was Katherine Heigl, who made back $3.40 for every dollar she earns, based on a couple of recent films that didn’t really register on the box office radar. Reese Witherspoon is surprisingly at number three, having made back just $3.90. Like Barrymore, she has recently had a baby and may well be back in the financial limelight in due course.

    When it comes to Eddie Murphy, however, the future doesn’t look too bright. 2011’s Tower Heist was supposed to be his return to the big-time, but although critically-acclaimed, it didn’t do that well at the box office. Something special will need to be in the pipeline to turn his career around.

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    • The 7 Most Overpaid Actors:

      http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/the-7-most-overpaid-movie-actors/

      #4 Eddie Murphy

      Eddie Murphy has evolved his career brilliantly. After bursting into the national spotlight during his short-lived SNL career, Eddie quickly became the go-to black comedian of the 80′s. As he got older, he began focusing on family comedies with films like The Nutty Professor and Dr. Dolittle. Again, like a normal-sized black Napoleon, Eddie completely conquered the landscape in front of him.

      However, as Eddie’s fan-base gets older, they don’t recognize their beloved Eddie Murphy anymore. Recent films like Meet Dave and Imagine That (which seemed like a remake of Adam Sandler’s Bedtime Stories, which came out only a year earlier) have been major box office disappointments. The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the biggest summer blockbuster flop of all-time. On average for every $1 Eddie has earned, his movies brought in $4.43 so like Billy Bob, Murphy earns nearly a quarter of his films’ total gross earnings.

      Like

    • The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made:

      http://flavorwire.com/477608/the-50-worst-movies-ever-made/28

      1. Norbit

      The poor timing of this excruciating mix of fatty-fall-down jokes and deliriously minstrel-show-esque stereotypes may well have cost Eddie Murpy his Dreamgirls Oscar — which isn’t exactly fair, but it certainly seems like justice. For it’s not just a poorly made movie, but a loathsome and distasteful one to boot, consisting of a single joke, told over and over and over and over and over again, that wasn’t funny the first time. The joke is that fat people are physically repulsive, disgusting creatures. It’s mean, angry, vile, and misogynistic, and some of that might be forgivable if Norbit were funny. It isn’t. There is, no exaggeration, not one laugh to be found in it. It marked Eddie Murphy’s creative nadir (which is saying something), and if we’re lucky, it’s the worst film he’ll ever make. I shudder to imagine one that’s worse.

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  3. Showtime (2002):

    http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/488692/showtime-2002

    I watched this film recently and I have to say it wasn’t bad at all. Good under-appreciated comedy with Eddie Murphy and Robert DeNiro.

    Like

  4. 10 Huge Hollywood Actors We All Loved (But Now Hate):

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-huge-hollywood-actors-loved-now-hate.php/5

    7. Eddie Murphy

    We Love You Moment: Beverley Hills Cop (1984)

    It’s seems like a long time since Eddie Murphy was the most popular star and biggest box office attraction on the planet but that’s exactly what he was in the eighties. After making his film debut with 48 Hrs. a revelation was born and he followed that with the excellent Trading Places and then the film that would make him an international star; Beverley Hills Cop.

    By the time Another 48 Hrs. (1990) hit cinemas he had hit after hit with a (good) sequel to Beverley Hills Cop, The Golden Child, Coming To America and RAW, the highest grossing stand-up film ever released at the time. His natural charisma, talent and incredibly foul yet funny mouth made him the biggest and most loved star on the planet.

    We Want A Divorce Moment: Beverley Hills Cop III (1994)

    No actor has suffered such an incredible drop off in quality like Edward Reagan Murphy and it all started with the castration of his most famous character in Beverley Hills Cop III. The success of Shrek and Nutty Professor are merely blips on an otherwise downward trajectory that features such abominations to entertainment as Vampire In Brooklyn, Life, Holy Man, Showtime, Pluto Nash, I-Spy, The Haunted Mansion. Norbit, Meet Dave and Imagine That.

    The worst part? A young Eddie Murphy would be ashamed of his older self. Try watching the brilliant RAW now and not cringing when he mocks Bill Cosby pleading with him not to use cuss words anymore. Often imitated but never bettered when it came to cussing, it’s a real shame his balls dropped off when he got old. Back in the day he could have always counted on the female vote too but since challenging the paternity of Mel B’s child he’s lost that as well. D’oh.

    Chances Of Getting Back Together: Regretfully none. The shine has well and truly come off this former golden child.

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  5. Since now directors have started to get their own WTHHT articles, I wonder if Eddie Murphy’s “Trading Places”, “Coming to America”, and “Beverly Hills Cop III” director John Landis deserves one? The irony regarding Landis is the whole tragedy involving Vic Marrow’s death during the making of “The Twilight Zone” movie didn’t seem to completely ruin Landis’ career as an A-list director, but once he entered the ’90s w/ flicks like BHC3″ and “Blues Brothers 2000″, that really did him in.

    http://www.avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46334&page=15

    Like

    • And since we’re on the subject of Eddie Murphy’s old directors, I also wouldn’t mind seeing Eddie’s “Beverly Hills Cop” (the first one) director Martin Brest get a WTHHT. It seems like the horrible response that “Gigli” received caused Brest to pretty much give up film-making all together.

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    • I would count John Landis among my favorite comedy directors. Just look at his output from 1978 to 1988: Animal House in 1978, The Blues Brothers in 1980, An American Werewolf In London in 1981, Trading Places in 1983, Three Amigos in 1986 and Coming To America in 1988. There’s some great movies in there. Say what you will but Landis had a tremendous 10 years as a filmmaker.

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      • Yeah he did have a good run. Unfortunately that run ended the minute the 80s were over. Like many directors he had a lot of success for a period, then once that ended he more or less became a journeyman.

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        • I don’t think he was ever the same after the Twilight Zone disaster and trial. Coming to America came after that, but aside from that movie which was largely carried by Murphy, Landis’ best days were behind him.

          I always wonder how talented he really was vs. lucky to be working with such immense comedic talents.

          I will give him credit for chasing Chevy Chase away from Animal House. Had it turned into SNL the Movie as intended, it would not have been nearly as good. I also give him credit for reading Dan Aykroyd’s script for Blues Brothers and saying “Dan, we can’t possibly do this.”

          I think American Werewolf shows Landis’ talent the best. But even that movie has some very lethargic pacing. And then it just kind of ends.

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  6. Has Any Comedic Actor Ever Come Close to 1980s Eddie Murphy?

    http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showpost.php?p=4813317&postcount=1

    From 1982 to 1989, Eddie Murphy starred in 9 films. Three of these films (Best Defense, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Harlem Nights) are either completely forgettable, terribly mediocre, or both. However, let’s take a look at his other six films:

    1) 48 Hours: Borderline classic comedy.

    2) Trading Places: BIG TIME classic comedy.

    3) Beverly Hills Cop: BIG TIME classic comedy.

    4) The Golden Child: Originally a flop, but now a cult classic.

    5) Eddie Murphy Raw: One of the greatest stand-up films ever made.

    6) Coming To America: BIG TIME classic comedy.

    Not only have most of these films stood the test of time, but I am now hard pressed to think of any other comedian who had an equally stellar streak in their career. Only three other comedians come to mind that one could make an argument for: Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, and Will Ferrell.

    Like

  7. 10 Actors Who Need To Stop Flogging A Dead Horse:

    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-need-stop-flogging-dead-horse.php/11

    1. Eddie Murphy

    Done To Death: Beverly Hills Cop (and playing multiple roles in the same movie).

    There was a time when Eddie Murphy was the most hilarious thing in Hollywood: he was handsome, fast-talking, and above all he was a pretty good actor, killing it on Saturday Night Live for four straight years. And by the time he was cast in his first leading role in Beverly Hills Cop in 1984 he was a force to be reckoned with in the world of big-budget comedy.

    Then, in the mid-’90s, Murphy’s roles became increasingly ridiculous. In the wake of Beverly Hills Cop III came Vampire In Brooklyn, which replicated the gimmick of Murphy’s earlier film Coming To America, in which he played multiple characters at the same time, but failed laughably. His next film was The Nutty Professor, which was built entirely around that gimmick, and movies like Norbit kept right on going without any self-awareness.

    With Triplets upcoming, it’s recently been announced that Murphy is going back to Beverly Hills Cop to reinvigorate another old comedy franchise, and it’s hard not to think that Murphy isn’t even the best man for his own old job. After more than a decade of no success, it would be far better to see Axel Foley rebooted, rather than him hanging on to an old success story, and it’s hard to see the film working, unless someone like Shane Black is brought in.

    Like

    • Mother Brain’s Top 10 Unproduced Movie Sequels:

      http://cosblog.cosmelentertainment.com/2012/05/29/mother-brains-top-10-unproduced-movie-sequels/

      1. Beverly Hills Cop 4

      Contrary to popular belief, the 4th adventure of Eddie Murphy’s hip cop from Detroit, Axel Foley, was initially planned after the release of Beverly Hills Cop II when producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer considered an idea to shoot the 3rd and 4th films back to back overseas in Europe and Asia. Eddie’s falling track record, however, killed that idea which resulted in the half-assed Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994. Determined to bring life back into the franchise, Eddie sought after numerous writers to come up with a new premise to return back to the fish out of water roots of Cop I. From the mid 90s and on, screenwriters such as John Ridley (Red Tails) and Dan Gordon (The Hurricane) wrote drafts in which Axel battled terrorists in London and Paris. But the closest it came into production was in 2008 when Brett Ratner was hired to direct a screenplay by Wanted screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. The premise involved Axel returning to Beverly Hills to avenge the murder of series favorite Billy Rosewood at the hands of dirty cops while gaining a new young cop sidekick intended for Jonah Hill to play. Fans lashed out on the internet over the decision to deep six the supporting characters and Paramount lost faith in Eddie after a string of more family movie failures. Now there’s talk of a TV series about Axel’s son.

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  8. I love Eddie Murphy movies, I wish he would make some more. He makes me laugh so hard, what a wonderful actor, all the different parts, and so believeable too.
    Come back Eddie!

    Like

  9. 12 Actors Who Basically Guarantee You Make A Flop:

    http://whatculture.com/film/12-actors-basically-guarantee-make-flop.php/6

    1. Eddie Murphy

    Few entries on this list make us as sad as Eddie Murphy, a tremendously talented comedian who simply stopped putting any effort in around the year 2000, and though audiences stuck with him for a while, his luck eventually ran out.

    In his defense, Murphy’s commitment to voice-over and ensemble work has netted him a few hits over the last decade, such as three Shrek movies, Tower Heist and Dreamgirls (which even netted him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor), though only a single movie sold on his name alone actually made any money, and that’s the terrible Norbit.

    This appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, because all three of Murphy’s starring projects that followed, Meet Dave, Imagine That and A Thousand Words, flopped spectacularly. If we go back a little further, of course, Murphy also starred in 2002′s The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which became one of the biggest box office bombs in cinematic history, and who can forget the massive box office failure that was Holy Man? Still, Murphy has pretty much been lucky enough throughout his career to balance his flops with a few major hits, even if nowadays that mostly means using his voice or appearing within a large cast.

    Why Is He A Flop? It appears that even casual viewers who sunk their money into Norbit have grown fed up of Murphy’s boisterous shtick, because he’s not appeared in a movie for two years since A Thousand Words flopped, hopefully signalling a career re-think on his part.

    With Beverly Hills Cop 4 and Triplets (a sequel to the movie Twins) on the way, perhaps it’s time for Murphy’s comeback, though the question remains: will audiences be interested in watching Murphy front and center anymore? Essentially, Murphy isn’t entirely uncastable, but it looks as though his time as a leading man might be over.

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  10. iam a big fan of your work but rob i think with the triplets sequel he is big need for a comeback

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    • If so, that’s a sorry state for his career to be in.

      Honestly, I don’t think anything will bring Murphy back in a big way. Not even reviving Beverly Hills Cop. I just don’t think the guy wants to be famous any more.

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  11. his problem is most a good portion of his career he went the kid friendly route he needs go to his roots and have make adult comedies like he use to

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    • I’m not going to totally fault Eddie in wanting to do more kid friendly or family friendly movies. I mean I’m sure that Eddie was at a much different perspective in his life when he made stuff like “Daddy Day Care” and “The Hunted Mansion” (when he was in his 40s) than when he was making “48 HRs” and “Beverly Hills Cop” (when he was in his early 20s). I mean, should we have criticized Robin Williams for occasionally doing a more family friendly movie like “RV” for example?

      With that being said, I think the problem wasn’t necessarily so much in Eddie wanting to do those types of movies period, as much as perhaps they didn’t really maximize his talents. They seemed more like quick paydays instead of something that he was truly passionate about. It seemed like in stuff like “Daddy Day Care”, “Dr. Doolittle”, “Imagine That”, and “The Hunted Mansion”, Eddie was more or less, playing the straight man (either to little, rambunctious kids, talking animals, or special effects). In effect, instead of making jokes, Eddie sort of became the butt of them. Eddie was practically so stripped of whatever made him interesting as an onscreen persona that you could’ve just about put anybody in those types of movies and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

      Like

  12. The Mt. Rushmore of Stand up comics…:

    http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/506003/mt-rushmore-stand-comics?page=2

    Post by DrBackflipsHoffman on 20 hours ago
    Eddie Murphy doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a Mt. Rushmore of stand up comedy, sorry. He was a fine comic actor for a while, but his stand up material just doesn’t cut it. Small parts of Delirious are harmless juvenile bulls*** like the BBQ routine and the stuff about James Brown and Stevie Wonder, but given you’d be putting what’s available from Murphy up against the material people like Pryor, Carlin, Hicks, Bruce and Cosby have, it’s a no contest. You’d be better off giving Police Academy 4 a place before Murphy.

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  13. he does deserve it turning down pryor biopic was dumb oscar written all over it

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  14. i dont think its right to compare his career to stallone as good as stalone his body of work cannot touch eddies eddies movies gross more hes still seen as more as a box office draw out side 3 franchises stallone has no classics eddie has a ton plus dreamgirls proved eddie has chops stallone has some too but not like eddie

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  15. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3589140/board/thread/233444177 i smell oscar gold eddie will play miles davis it will be his best performance since dreamgirls

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  16. eddie should do drama this miles davis biopic right direction he does drama better then jim carrey dream girls amazing

    Like

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